Japan and the U.S. are about to ink a new security alliance. What does this portend for U.S. and China cooperation in the near term. Will this change
the North Korea nuke issue?
Japan and the US will declare in a joint agreement tomorrow that security in the Taiwan Strait is a "common strategic objective," The Washington
Post said yesterday, citing a draft of the document it obtained.
The agreement will be announced after the US Secretaries of State, Condoleezza Rice, and of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, meet their Japanese counterparts
in Washington today, the daily said in its article datelined in Tokyo.
"This is the first time that Japan has made its stance clear; in the past, Japan has been very indirect on the Taiwan issue," said Koh Se-kai,
Taiwan's special representative to Japan. "We're relieved that Japan has become more assertive."
There was no immediate reaction from China.
The agreement to be announced tomorrow declaring security in the Taiwan Strait as a "common strategic objective" of Washington and Tokyo is the most
significant alteration since 1996 of the US-Japanese Security Alliance, the daily said.
"It would be wrong for us to send a signal to China that the United States and Japan will watch and tolerate China's military invasion of Taiwan,"
said Shinzo Abe, the acting secretary general of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, who is widely considered a likely successor to Prime
Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
"If the situation surrounding Japan threatens our security, Japan can provide US forces with support," he added.
"We consider China a friendly country, but it is also unpredictable," an unidentified senior Japanese government official was quoted as saying in
The Washington Post.
"If it takes aggressive action, Japan cannot just stand by and watch," he added.
The Ministry of National Defense (MND) yesterday welcomed the expected agreement.
"Although the MND hasn't received any information about such an agreement from the US or Japan, the MND welcomes any force which could stabilize the
Taiwan Strait, " ministry spokesman Rear Admiral Liou Chih-chien (劉志堅) said.
Liou said that if the US and Japan really see security in the Taiwan Strait as a "common strategic objective," it would enhance Taiwan's
determination to defend and deter a military attack from China.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
The U.S. has been playing the China cooperation card for quite some time. This would be a sudden reversal with unknown consequences. It will be a
welcome sight to a beleaguered Taiwan which has had to see it's interests pushed aside, so the U.S. could attempt to secure help from China on the
North Korea nuke issue.
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Can China Invade Taiwan?
[edit on 2/19/2005 by bodebliss]